Smart Transport

DfT to boost transport tech start-ups with £1m funding

Innovative transport start-ups with a focus on decarbonisation or Covid-19 recovery can bid for a share of over £1 million (£1,010,000) in Department for Transport funding.

Transport-Technology Research and Innovation Grants (T-TRIG), which is now in its 11th round of funding, is open to entrepreneurs and innovators pioneering new ways of creating a better transport system.

Over 60% of grants so far have been awarded to SMEs and 30% to universities.

T-TRIG brings together talented start-ups and policymakers at the earliest stages of innovation and by issuing targeted investments of up to £30,000 for each project, the fund aims to help budding entrepreneurs and academics propel their ideas to market quicker.

The DfT has also introduced a separate £500,000 competition to fund the development of products or services that would improve the ability for disabled people to use the transport network. Bids for the Accessibility-Technology Research Innovation Grant (A-TRIG) will be open until the end of November.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “As we continue to follow our greenprint for a transport recovery from COVID-19, it is imperative we work with startups at the cutting edge of technology to help us build back more sustainably and today’s competition launch will do exactly that.

“That’s why supporting innovation is a priority for this government, as we start to travel again safely while also seeking to solve the complex challenge of decarbonising transport.”

The government has provided £5.4 million through T-TRIG over the past five years to more than 170 technology and innovation projects with successful winners including Wayfindr and Infinect.

Wayfindr was able to develop a system that helps blind and partially sighted people navigate towns and cities using Bluetooth-enabled beacons and smartphones.

Infinect, which received T-TRIG funding in 2017, has developed a new satellite antenna to provide reliable high-speed broadband to rail journeys, improving the passenger experience.

Investment from this fund has often been a precursor to funding from private investors and over £25 million in additional investment, largely from the private sector, has been secured off the back of successful projects awarded funding since the scheme began.

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.

 

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